Do you feel that the abundance of tools popping up all around you, and on daily bases, are making you feel indecisive and overwhelmed? Or do you appreciate every possible way that can help you manage your online store more easily, making you automate everything?
From storing all your passwords to scheduling all your posts, handling all those free trials, paid versions and managing all accounts, do you ever feel the need to keep it simple?
In case you’re nodding your head in affirmation, keep reading – we made a list of the most basic tools every online store owner needs.
It is short, simple and relevant – and in case you decide to reduce all the resources you are using, make sure you stick to these as they proved to be crucial when it comes to administering your online shop.
Launching your online store will be a challenge itself, and if you are not experienced, you might decide to rely on numerous advice out there telling you to automate everything.
This is where you need to be careful – putting too much pressure on your back, might be counterproductive as you may end up with a mess that is hard to sweep up.
Crunching the numbers
Numbers and numbers only – they have to be in the beginning of every decision you will make, and mark the very end of all the processes you initiate on your online store.
Products available, number of orders prepared to be shipped, total value of discounts offered, shipping costs, customer acquisition, total spent on advertising across social media platforms or other marketing activities, results of all your efforts – all numbers.
Relying on Google Analytics running quietly behind everything that is going on with your website, will help you direct every single action on your online store.
And most definitely, if that is not the case, you are not doing something right.
Your bounce rate, visitor behaviour and conversions will tell you all about your potential customers.
Going deeper – knowing their location, demographics and age will help you segment and adjust many different processes on your online store.
Surely you will find Google Analytics to be your most reliable source of vital information and help you direct your decisions. It might seem challenging for you to grasp all that it’s offering and you might feel lost in the beginning.
But you cannot give up, as it will give you the most comprehensive overview of everything that is happening on your online store.
In case you need help, Google has set up an amazing course that will make you a professional when it comes to crunching the numbers.
Their amazing courses can be found online and be something that you will benefit a lot from. They are made in a manner that is understanding for pretty much everyone, they will guide you from the very beginning and ensure you truly know what you are doing once you are done with lessons.
So, in case you need to reduce the number of tools you are using on your store, or rely only on couple of them – make sure you remember that Google analytics is here to stay.
If you run WordPress powered website, you have probably met or heard something about Yoast.
That is because it proved to be one of the most pronounced names when it comes to optimization and tools that can track results of your SEO efforts.
Yoast will offer you all the basics – graphics with an overview of your bounce rate and sessions, reports allowing you to get an insight into what your most popular pages are, which traffic sources were visitors using to find you or stumble upon your website and what was the most represented country.
Have in mind that without purchasing premium version, you will be restricted and will not be able to get an overview of custom dimension reports.
That is why, our suggestion that you give Yoast a chance, especially if you are a novice.
Later on, you will need more and more information about not only your customers, but their behaviour, and that is why we suggest you start getting familiar with analytics in a more detailed way as soon as possible.
Until then, using Yoast will be a great starting point, we are sure.
Another great thing about Yoast? Their blog, definitely!
It will offer lots of great, fresh and useful information when it comes to optimizing your online store and we strongly recommend you start reading it today.
Talk the talk
When it comes to buying at good old brick and mortar, you have all information you need at your disposal. Sellers are there to remove every doubt and dressing room is there to reaffirm your buying decision.
Or make you leave right away. Replicating the experience and creating attentive environment on your online store that screams good service.
And store owners did it with the help of…
Online you are bound to rely on store administrators that properly marked products as in and out of stock, or created a dropdown menu so you can see all of available sizes, colours and prices respectively.
In case you are in a hurry or you really want a product and you don’t want to spend hours browsing reviews and reading forums – you need to talk to someone.
Emailing support won’t cut it if you need the information right away.
Like it or hate it, statistics are without any doubt, rooting for team Live Chat.
According to HappyFox Chat:
- 73% of customers are satisfied after using live chat, higher than any other form of customer support such as email, telephone, or social media
- The availability of live chat assistance has been found to decrease sales cart abandonment by up to 30%, which resulted in an increase in sales.
- While making an online purchase, 83% of customers needed live support for assistance.
- Live chat has the highest satisfaction levels for any customer service channel, with 73%, compared with 61% for email and 44% for phone.
And, research done by Forrester confirms – 44% of respondents said that having a live person answer their questions while they were in the middle of an online purchase was one of the most important features a website could offer.
Mapping user behaviour
Your website/blog or online store can definitely survive without landing page, but having one can bring you increase in visits, help you grow your email marketing list, reach more people and increase your brand’s visibility. Heat map goes hand in hand with landing pages.
We also wrote how to create compelling landing page (and in under an hour!), so if you followed our advice, you probably created one.
This is where heat maps kick in! They will tell you all about your visitors behaviour on your website – what Google Analytics will offer you from the back, heat maps will do for you on your store’s front-end.
It will help you greatly understand your customers behaviour, and not only that, but actually see how do they move, what gets into their eye, and where are they headed in their search for information.
You need to use data and carefully position your call to action buttons, your title, imagery and content.
Do not think that using them off and on will help your website though. It might, but your customers might be changing either their mind, or their structure might entirely shift.
So make sure you are continuously testing, especially if you have introduced any changes with your CTA or imagery.
Winning in email marketing
Numerous resources claimed (and some still insist) that email marketing ought to be replaced and ignored as irrelevant and outdated.
Well, not according to Forbes or any other major retailer for that matter. Forbes rely on data found by ExactTarget, that claims that “77% of consumers prefer to receive permission-based marketing communications through email.”
Email can definitely outperform all other channels you are using to promote your online store, and with huge ROI, proved to be beneficial in so many ways for your online store.
And if you perform segmentation of your subscribers/email list over time, you will face even better results.
Simply, make sure you are creating something that users will find useful/attractive/funny/educational, to read and use it to create content that will ensure your readers evolving into buyers/leads/prospects, ensuring great success for your online store in future.
Full screen takeover
Obtaining your visitor’s email address is beneficial in so many ways – you want to grow number of your email subscribers and you want to increase your sales eventually.
Offering something enticing in exchange for their email address is something that will never fail you, and your buyers will never hesitate when it comes to giving you permission to email them.
But how do you do that?
Opt in forms
It’s simple! All you need to do is to find a tool that will let you create opt-in forms on your eCommerce stores.
We suggest you go with OptinMonster, but in case you have found something different, go ahead with it.
Just make sure it gives you possibility to:
- create different types of forms
- create variations and perform A/B testing
- create forms that are visually enticing
- you are presented with relevant statistics related to optin
- be able to create opt-in forms that will activate depending on user’s behaviour
Make sure you rely on analytics to learn from your mistakes and adjust your forms to the needs and behaviour of your visitors.
Everything revolves around a user. Around his experience on your online store.
Purchases are miles away if you do not put yourself into your buyer’s shoes and determine what will be the most useful solution for them.
Not giving up on bad practices and insisting on tactics that are not giving results will only slow you down and be the decay on your online store.
That is why it is important to make data driven decisions, and using aforementioned tools can definitely help you achieve that. We are positive.